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Pygmalion’s Poetics: Nature, Gender, and the Critic

Alessandro Schiesaro, Short-Term Whitney J. Oates Fellow in the Humanities Council and Department of Classics

Tue, 4/9 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 010 East Pyne

Department of Classics; Humanities Council

Why, and how, has Pygmalion become a paradigm of artistic creativity? What aspects of Ovid’s story have been marginalised or elided in the process? The paper will suggest ways to read the episode within the context of the Metamorphoses’ broader negotiations between living and inert matter and between life and death, and to assess its gender dynamics through its reception in the iconographical tradition.

Alessandro Schiesaro is a scholar of Latin literature, literary theory, psychoanalysis and cultural history; he is especially fascinated by the interaction between poetry and philosophy and by the role of poetry as a form of knowledge. He has previously held chairs at Princeton, King’s College London, Sapienza University of Rome, where he was the Founding Director of the Sapienza School for Advanced Studies, and the William Hulme Chair of Classics at the University of Manchester, where he served as Head of the School of Arts, Languages and Literatures. Schiesaro is a Short-Term Whitney J. Oates Fellow in the Humanities Council and the Department of Classics in Spring 2024.

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